When You Might Need A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Losing a loved one can be an incredibly painful experience. On top of the grief, arranging a funeral can be ridiculously expensive. However, you might be able to find some small consolation in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit, depending on the circumstances of your loved one's death.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

In order for a death to be a wrongful death, an individual must have died due to the negligence or ill intent of another party. When the loved ones of the deceased sue the party that caused the death, this lawsuit is known as a wrongful death lawsuit.

However, this is a distinct category that is totally separate from criminal charges such as murder and manslaughter. To understand the difference between these two, you must first be familiar with the difference between criminal and tort law.

Criminal Law - In these cases, the government is the plaintiff and the accused is the defendant. Criminal cases tend to result in punishments such as prison time or community service.

Tort Law - In these cases, individuals or businesses file lawsuits against other individuals or businesses. In many cases, financial restitution is the preferred outcome. Oftentimes, tort cases are settled outside of court for some fee of money. This is somewhat comparable to the plea system in criminal law.

Wrongful death lawsuit falls under the category of tort law. In some cases, wrongful death claims can be pursued concurrently with criminal charges (such as murder  or manslaughter), but the trials are separate. In many deaths, such as car accidents, criminal charges are not pursued. However, you can still file a wrongful death claim if you feel that you have a strong case.

What are common wrongful death claims?

Medical negligence and car accidents are two of the biggest sources of wrongful death claims. In some car accidents that result in deaths, manslaughter (or even murder) may be pursued, but this is relatively rare. It's much more common to pursue a wrongful death claim, especially since they have a good chance of winning if the offending party was under the influence at the time of the accident.

Medical negligence is a somewhat murky category, but is still used quite often in wrongful death claims. If your loved one died because a medical professional didn't take the proper precautions, then you stand a good chance to win a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you believe that your loved one has died wrongfully, it is important to take with a wrongful death attorney, such as those at Campbell, Dille, Barnett & Smith, P.L.L.C. to discuss what options you have.